Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science: Medical Professor Punished for Speaking With Journalists


Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science

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Case Overview

On March 5, 2023, the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science suspended professor Michael J. Joyner for failing to adhere to the college’s “prescribed messaging” when speaking to media in his personal capacity, and because his commentary about his medical research allegedly impacted the institution's “brand and reputation.” Mayo Clinic also demanded Joyner seek permission to speak to journalists thereafter. In April and May, FIRE wrote Mayo Clinic to explain how this punishment violates the academic freedom and free speech promise it makes to faculty. We discussed how institutions dedicated to free speech principles must allow faculty to speak on public issues as private citizens, and we called on Mayo Clinic to respect these principles by rescinding Joyner’s punishment.